Forum to Explore Just Peace

Forum15_LandPage_0Bethany Seminary’s seventh Presidential Forum weekend, scheduled for October 29-31, 2015, will feature internationally known speakers, Bethany leadership, and presenters from the peace church traditions on the theme A Pilgrimage of Just Peace. Registration and complete information on the event is available at

“Conflict is relational, and often it arises from a variety of factors: economic, environmental, racial, religious, etc.,” says Jeff Carter, president of Bethany. “In order to create a culture of peace and prevent conflict, peacemaking must be equally relational. Drawing from experts in a variety of fields, the Forum will address the cost of not having peace and the ecumenical call for a just peace, which includes truth, reconciliation, and restorative justice. I am excited to have this collection of distinguished scholars at Bethany to deepen our conversation and expand our witness.”

World Council of Churches leader Fernando Enns will open the plenary sessions with “The Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.” A professor of peace theology and ethics at VU University Amsterdam, Enns served as moderator of the WCC’s reference group for the Decade to Overcome Violence and is now moderator of the reference group on just peace.

Enns will be joined by plenary speakers Elizabeth Ferris of the Brookings Institution and James S. Logan of Earlham College. Ferris is codirector of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and teaches at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Policy. Her presentation is entitled “Humanitarian Crises: The Crying Need for a Just Peace.” Logan will speak on “‘Everywhere Ferguson’ and the Racial Crucible of the Christian Peace Churches.” He holds the National Endowment for the Humanities Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies at Earlham, where he teaches in the religion department and directs the Program in African and African American Studies. Sharon Watkins, president and general minister of the Christian Church, will speak during Friday evening worship and in a talkback session.

To begin the weekend’s activities, the traditional Pre-Forum Gathering welcomes alumni/ae and friends to campus for educational lectures, worship, and fellowship with the Bethany community. On Friday, faculty and guest speakers will address the Forum theme from their respective fields of study and experience:

  • Ben Brazil, director of the ministry of writing program at Earlham School of Religion – “Travel and Justice: The Moral Maze”
  • Christina Bucher, Carl W. Ziegler Professor of Religion at Elizabethtown College and Bethany trustee – “Pondering Joshua in Search of Just Peace”
  • Carol Rose, pastor and former director of Christian Peacemaker Teams – “On Tiptoe to See: The Bible, Oppressions, and Transformation”
  • Scott Holland, Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture at Bethany – “Does Religion Still Matter in Seeking Cultures of Just Peace?”

In six breakout sessions, Brethren, Mennonite, and Quaker presenters will also speak to the interpretation and manifestation of peacemaking, from an historical look at the Brethren peace position to arts-based community organizing.

Space is limited to 165 participants. A discounted registration fee will be offered through September 5. CEUs are available for both the Pre-Forum Gathering and the Forum. For more information, please contact or call 800-287-8822.